Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday: Barbecue Chicken, Noodles and Mashed Potatoes

Yummm.... This was a fantastic meal! The barbecue sauce was amazing!!! Since we have been doing a lot of shopping at the farmer's market lately, I have been using a new cookbook: "Simply in Season" by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. I have checked it out from my local library, but I will most likely end up buying it. It is FANTASTIC! All of the recipes in the book are categorized by season- based on what produce is available at the time. It is such a fun book!

Here is what you need for the barbecue sauce:

1 lb chicken (I used boneless, skinless- but you can use bone-in also)
1/3 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Step 1:

Saute' onion until tender

Step 2:

Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer, uncovered for 15 min.

Step 3:

Put chicken in a 9x13 pan and pour sauce over uncooked chicken.

Step 4:

Bake at 350 degrees, 45-60 min. Every once in awhile, pull the chicken out and re-baste.

Place on a plate, cut slices and pour extra sauce over the chicken. We paired this dish with premade noodles- cooked in chicken broth and yummy mashed potatoes.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday: Homemade Pizza

I have tried several different pizza crust recipes, and so far- this is a favorite. I am not a fan of whole wheat pizza crust recipes... I just can't do it. As far as eating whole foods and as healthy as we can as a family.... there are a few things where we just eat what we like- and pizza is one of them!

Here is what you need for this recipe:

  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 pkg. yeast (1 TB)
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 TB veg.oil
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. additional flour
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine 1 c. warm water and 1 pkg. yeast

Step 2: When dissolved, add 1 TB sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 TB veg. oil and 1 1/4 c. flour and beat until smooth.

Step 3: Add 2 c. additional flour or enough to make stiff dough (may use whole wheat if you prefer!)

Step 4: Preheat oven to 200 degrees for 10 minutes-

Step 5: Knead about 5 minutes until elastic

Step 6: Cover dough- turn off oven and let covered bowl with dough rise in the preheated oven until doubled in size or 45 minutes.

Step 7: Pat and stretch dough to fill 2 greased pizza pans. Let rise 10 minutes

Step 8: Top with sauce, cheese and toppings! If making pizza calzone packets- divide dough into smaller portions, add toppings (not too much sauce!), fold and pinch dough together. These work great when you freeze them and pop them in the oven for dinner on a busy day!


Guest Post: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwhiches

At the beginning of the summer the Meal Planning Mommies invited me to join their blog for a day with fun recipes from my family’s company, Ann Clark Ltd. Unfortunately, just days before I was headed into the kitchen I fell and broke my wrist leaving me (even more) helpless in the kitchen. I actually fell while I was chasing my little boy – but that’s for a different blog.
Now that I have mended I would like to share my version of my mother’s Ice Cream Sandwich recipe. While every mom had great ideas, it is always fun to tweak them a bit and make them your own. If you’d like to read my mom’s recipe please visit her web site.

Over Labor Day weekend my husband and I had a houseful of company. While he was in charge of all of the cooking for the weekend, I was in charge of the desserts…and entertaining the masses. What better way to entertain than to bring everyone into the kitchen? Since I had a wide span of ages to work with, form age 2 to 47, I decided to put everyone to work making ice cream sandwiches!

First thing in the morning on Saturday I set up to make the dough for the cookies (or “cake” portion of the sandwich.) Since the dough needed to chill for a few hours, it was best to start early. There was lots of stirring and measuring to do so everyone could take part.

Next we used our ice cream maker to make a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. I had planned to make two batches of ice cream, chocolate and vanilla, but realized that the cylinder on the ice cream maker needed twelve or more hours to fully re-freeze between batches. When I do this again I will make one batch of ice cream before everyone arrives.

The kids loved the idea of making their own ice cream and again, it was a simple recipe with opportunities for even the youngest of helpers to pitch in. If you don’t have an ice cream maker – no worries, but you really should get one! I can’t recommend it enough. The recipes are silly-easy and my son cheers when he sees me take it out.

The Ice Cream Recipe (Taken from the
Whisk together:
1 cup whole milk, well chilled
¾ cup granulated sugar
Until sugar has dissolved
Stir in:
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, to taste

Turn on machine and pour mixture into freezer bowl. Allow to mix until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from ice cream maker and transfer into a freezer-proof container and allow to freeze for several more hours until firm.

With the ice cream hardening in the freezer, it was time to make the cookies. I chose to use mom’s classic Chocolate Cookie recipe.

The cookie recipe~
Cream together:
1 ¼ cup soft butter
1 ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
Beat in:
1 egg
3 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
¼ tsp. salt
Mix well. Turn out dough on to lightly floured surface and form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 3 hours. (Can also be frozen for future projects)

Preheat oven to 350. On a floured surface roll out ¼” thick and cut with cookie cutters. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. (We left ours for a few hours while we played outside.)

We used basic cookie cutter shapes, the Linzer Cookie Cutters and the Biscuit Set, as I was concerned that intricate shapes might become brittle and break when we sandwiched them with ice cream. There are many to choose from – something for every holiday and season.

Finally it was time to assemble to sandwiches. We placed a small scoop of ice cream on a cookie and then topped it with a matching cookie. A fun option next is to roll the edge of the cookie in a topping (nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips etc.) for an added treat. Our recipe made about a dozen vanilla ice cream sandwiches (remember, you need two cookies for each sandwich.) Plus a few more for tasting in the kitchen!

While you can eat them right away, we found that the longer you freeze them after assembly the better they are. Firm, fully-frozen sandwiches. Delish! When the company was packing up to leave on Sunday, I ordered them to take/eat the rest of the ice cream sandwiches so I wouldn’t eat them all myself! Needless to say, they were happy to oblige.

Make more cookies,
Elizabeth Clark Craib

A note from The MPM's~ The WINNER of the Great Cookie Cutter Giveaway is:  WE ARE THE SMITH FAMILY! Congratulations and enjoy the great cookie cutters!

And, don't forget MPM readers get 10% discount at Ann Clark through December!

Homemade Bread- Day 2

So Once you have completed Day 1 of making your bread, you can now joyfully proceed to day 2, knowing that at the end of your hard work today- you will get mouth watering, warm buttered bread!

Now you need:

1/4 c. maple syrup or honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups unbleached white flour

Step 1:
Take your starter dough, add the sweetener and stir

Step 2: Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour

Step 3: Begin to stir in the white flour. As you add the white flour, the mixture will be too difficult to stir. Knead it by hand in the bowl and continue to add white flour.

Step 4: When dough is less sticky, transfer to a floured surface (or use the dough hook on your mixer) and knead for 10-15 minutes or until dough is soft and springy- but not sticky.

Step 5: Wash and dry bowl, oil it and place kneaded dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Step 6: Lightly oil 2 loaf pans then divide dough in 1/2. Punch down and shape loaves using the following directions.

  • Flatten half the dough into a square on your working surface.
  • Press all the air out of the dough by vigorously slapping the dough w/ the palms of both hands
  • Form the flattened dough into a triangle and press down again
  • Fold the 2 corners into the center and press again.
  • Fold the top point into the body of the dough and press it down again.
  • Pick up the dough itself and begin rolling it into itself. This stretches the outside of the dough and creates a tight roll w/ no air pockets.
  • Seal the seam by flattening it w/ the heel of your hand.
  • Put it into the pan seam side down.
Step 7: Mix together topping for bread.
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
Step 8: Coat the top of each loaf with mixture, Cover and let rise in pans for 45-60 minutes.

Step 9: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45-50 minutes.

Step 10: Take bread out of pan 5 minutes after cooling. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade Bread- Part 1

I love to make homemade bread, and my husband and kids love it when I do! Making bread can be very laborious, but the taste of sweet butter melted on warm bread with blackberry jam makes it worth the work!

This recipe was taken from a cookbook- "Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods" by Cynthia Lair. It is a fantastic recipe that you can change depending on what grain you have on hand or prefer for your family.

It takes about 2 days to make the bread because of the time you allow your grain to soak. I am going to break this recipe apart into a few days- therefore you can start on it if you want today!

Day 1: Wheat Bread Starter Dough Here is what you need:

2 cups cooked, whole grains (at the bottom there are links to 2 great sites with more info about whole grains)
2 cups water
1/4 c. olive oil or melted butter
1 TB sea salt
1 TB yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour

Step 1:
I chose to use a grain called Kamut. Here is my 2 cups cooked Kamut ready to go in the blender!

Blend cooked grains and water in a blender until creamy; pour into a large mixing bowl.

Step 2:

Mix in oil, salt and yeast.

Step 3:

Add enough flour (1 cup-ish) to make the mixture look thick like cooked cereal.

Step 4:
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and leave for 12-24 hrs at room temperature. Once the dough is fermented it can be refrigerated for up to 1 week before using it to make bread.

Here are a few great sites that talk more about different grains and how to use them.

Passionate Homemaking

Frugal Granola

Karen's Sesame Noodles with baked sweet potato and broccoli

This recipe is so simple and very healthy! It was taken from the book: "Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods" by Cynthia Lair.

Here is what you need:

Buckwheat- Soba noodles- These are so healthy for you! You can find them in most health food stores or in the Japanese section (I found these at Kroger!).

8 oz Soba noodles, 3 TB Tahini, 1 TB butter (melted), 1 tsp maple syrup, 2 TB brown rice vinegar, 2 TB soy sauce, 1 tsp Sesame oil, 1/2 tsp ground coriander

The Tahini is in the glass peanut butter looking jar in the back. Tahini is basically sesame nut butter. It can be tricky to find. Check the "nut butter" section in the health foods department or a health foods store.

Step 1: Cook your Soba noodles according to the package directions, drain and then rinse.

Step 2: Mix all of the sauce ingredients and warm.

Step 3: Toss with noodles and serve!

This goes great with a baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli

On our baked sweet potatoes, I put butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and of course- a few mini marshmallows. Such a great side/dessert for this time of year!

I know in this recipe there are several ingredients that you think you may never use again: Sesame oil, Tahini and/or Brown Rice Vinegar. My Tahini is almost gone because I use it to make hummus as well as this dish. So far I haven't used the sesame oil or Brown Rice Vinegar except for this dish.

So I was wondering... anyone out there have a great recipe that would use either Brown Rice Vinegar or Sesame oil?

Please Share!

Monday: African Groundnut Chop

This dish is such a great change from the norm! As stated in my meal plan, this is an African dish. It has a little bit of a kick to it, but not too much for my toddlers. This past weekend our church had an dinner with African food and this was one of the entrees. They had so much left over, that we were able to take some home for one of our meals this week. I have not made this recipe, just tasted it.... but plan to make it on my own again soon!

Groundnut Chop Here is what you need:

1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 lbs chicken pieces, skin removed (you can definitely use less chicken and still have a full meal for 6)
1 lb beef, cut into chunks
2-3 tomatoes
1 onion
2 fresh hot peppers, seeded
1 TB peanut oil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
2 TB tomato paste
1/2 C smooth, unsweetened peanut butter
6 hardboiled eggs, peeled (optional for topping)

Step 1: Mix salt and ground ginger in small bowl, and rub thoroughly into chicken pieces on all sides. Cover and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes

Step 2: In a food processor or blender, grind tomatoes, onion and hot peppers until smooth- set aside

Step 3: Heat oil in a large, heavy non-stick pan. Add chicken pieces and beef. Brown well on both sides over medium high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.

Step 4: Add ground vegetables to pan and simmer for about 15 minutes, uncovered

Step 5: Add red pepper, salt, thyme, tomato paste and 2 cups water. Mix well and bring to a boil.

Step 6: Measure peanut butter into small, heat-resistant bowl. Ladle about 1 cup of broth from the sauce into the bowl and mix well with the peanut butter. Stir this paste back into pan with the sauce.

Step 7: Return chicken and beef to pot. Simmer uncovered on medium heat, 30-45 minutes- until chicken is fully cooked.

Step 8: Add whole peeled eggs to sauce during the last 10 minutes of cooking. You can remove the eggs after the sauce is cooked and serve them sliced with other toppings (coconut, mango, pineapple, sliced almonds etc.) or you can leave them whole in the sauce.

Step 9: Serve over rice and spoon toppings on top.

This is a recipe that will easily feed 6 people.

Everyone in my family enjoyed this recipe and I plan to try to make it! Let me know if you make it for your family and how they liked it!

Last Minute Meal Plan for the Week

If you have ever tried to sell a house, I am sure you can relate to what our family is going through right now! My husband loves it (as he will tell you he is a bit OCD), but it is stressful for me to try and keep our house "show-worthy" at all times. We have (much to our budget's dismay) eaten out quite a bit this past week. This has saved me from having to completely mess up my kitchen... but this week I am determined to cook. Just as Katie posted last week, my kitchen is a "working kitchen"... even if it is up for sale!

So my plan was to have my meal plan for the week completely written out by Saturday night... well there were a few last minute changes in our plans. We ended up going to have an adult night with Katie and her husband, Jason. Panera for dinner, a little shopping and then going to hear some live Jazz... it was a great night! On Sunday our family has chosen to not participate in media of any sorts- mainly no computer or t.v. That way our Sabbath is truly a break from what we "typically" do day to day.

So here I am, Monday morning--- one child in time out, one screaming at my feet and the other... hmmm- what is she doing??? Please accept my meal plan with grace and know you can find lots of other great recipes on our homepage- click on RECIPE INDEX on the top horizontal menu.

Monday: Groundnut Chop with Brown Rice - This is an African dish that I did not make. Our church had tons of leftovers from our Missions dinner this weekend, and I hate to waste it! I will post the recipe and would love to hear if any of you have made this before!

Tuesday: Karen's Sesame Noodles with Baked Sweet Potato and Broccoli

Wednesday: Pizza Pockets

Thursday: Oven Baked homemade B-Bque chicken with noodles and corn

Friday: Chili Mac with Garlic Bread and green beans

Here is my lunch meal plan also, just in case you needing some ideas!

All will be served with fruit and/or a veggie.

Monday- Tortilla Roll ups
(you can use black beans/brown rice; grilled chicken/avocado, hummus/sprouts/tomato; pinto beans/cheese/salsa; cooked shrimp/lettuce/vinagerette; avocado/cheese/cucumber/sprouts or just plain old peanut butter and apples!)

Tuesday- Roasted Red Pepper Soup with homemade bread
(Wolfgang Puck's Organic Soup)

Wednesday- Cheddar Toasties with Apple Slices

Thursday- Mac n' Cheese

Friday- Tuna Bites